Readings for Tuesday, August 31, 2021
“For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.” — James 2:26
1 Help, O Lord, for there is no longer anyone who is godly; the faithful have disappeared from humankind.
2 They utter lies to each other; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.
3 May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts,
4 those who say, “With our tongues we will prevail; our lips are our own—who is our master?”
5 “Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan, I will now rise up,” says the Lord ; “I will place them in the safety for which they long.”
6 The promises of the Lord are promises that are pure, silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.
7 You, O Lord, will protect us; you will guard us from this generation forever.
8 On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted among humankind.
1 Praise the Lord ! Praise the Lord, O my soul!
2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
3 Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help.
4 When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish.
5 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God,
6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever;
7 who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free;
8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
10 The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord !
65 So Solomon held the festival at that time, and all Israel with him—a great assembly, people from Lebo-hamath to the Wadi of Egypt—before the Lord our God, seven days. 66 On the eighth day he sent the people away; and they blessed the king, and went to their tents, joyful and in good spirits because of all the goodness that the Lord had shown to his servant David and to his people Israel.
9:1 When Solomon had finished building the house of the Lord and the king’s house and all that Solomon desired to build, 2 the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon. 3 The Lord said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your plea, which you made before me; I have consecrated this house that you have built, and put my name there forever; my eyes and my heart will be there for all time.
4 As for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statutes and my ordinances, 5 then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised your father David, saying, ‘There shall not fail you a successor on the throne of Israel.’
6 “If you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, 7 then I will cut Israel off from the land that I have given them; and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight; and Israel will become a proverb and a taunt among all peoples.
8 This house will become a heap of ruins; everyone passing by it will be astonished, and will hiss; and they will say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this house?’ 9 Then they will say, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord their God, who brought their ancestors out of the land of Egypt, and embraced other gods, worshiping them and serving them; therefore the Lord has brought this disaster upon them.’”
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? 17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. 20 Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith apart from works is barren? 21 Was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?
22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was brought to completion by the works. 23 Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 Likewise, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another road? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.
66 While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came by. 67 When she saw Peter warming himself, she stared at him and said, “You also were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.” 68 But he denied it, saying, “I do not know or understand what you are talking about.” And he went out into the forecourt. Then the cock crowed.
69 And the servant-girl, on seeing him, began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” 70 But again he denied it. Then after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them; for you are a Galilean.” 71 But he began to curse, and he swore an oath, “I do not know this man you are talking about.”
72 At that moment the cock crowed for the second time. Then Peter remembered that Jesus had said to him, “Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.
1 Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in their hearts; there is no fear of God before their eyes.
2 For they flatter themselves in their own eyes that their iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
3 The words of their mouths are mischief and deceit; they have ceased to act wisely and do good.
4 They plot mischief while on their beds; they are set on a way that is not good; they do not reject evil.
5 Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your judgments are like the great deep; you save humans and animals alike, O Lord .
7 How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8 They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
9 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.
10 O continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your salvation to the upright of heart!
11 Do not let the foot of the arrogant tread on me, or the hand of the wicked drive me away.
12 There the evildoers lie prostrate; they are thrust down, unable to rise.
1 O Lord my God, in you I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers, and deliver me,
2 or like a lion they will tear me apart; they will drag me away, with no one to rescue.
3 O Lord my God, if I have done this, if there is wrong in my hands,
4 if I have repaid my ally with harm or plundered my foe without cause,
5 then let the enemy pursue and overtake me, trample my life to the ground, and lay my soul in the dust.
6 Rise up, O Lord, in your anger; lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies; awake, O my God; you have appointed a judgment.
7 Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered around you, and over it take your seat on high.
8 The Lord judges the peoples; judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me.
9 O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous, you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God.
10 God is my shield, who saves the upright in heart.
11 God is a righteous judge, and a God who has indignation every day.
12 If one does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and strung his bow;
13 he has prepared his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts.
14 See how they conceive evil, and are pregnant with mischief, and bring forth lies.
15 They make a pit, digging it out, and fall into the hole that they have made.
16 Their mischief returns upon their own heads, and on their own heads their violence descends.
17 I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.
You can also find all of today’s readings at PCUSA.org.